Sunday, September 20, 2015

September 2015 Wildflowers

Enjoying early Fall West Virginia Wildflowers.
Here are a few highlights

                                                                   Nodding Ladies Tresses


                            These are from a field near my home that has hundreds 
                                           of these Nodding Ladies Tresses each year


                                                                Great Blue Lobelia


                                  Blue Stem Goldenrod, Orange Jewelweed, Bushy Aster

                                   Tall Rattlesnake Root
                                     Tall Rattlesnake Root


                                                                Burr Marigold


             Huge hornets nest over the doors of a seldom used (I presume) church near Zenith, WV


                             View from the Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory near Zenith, WV


A small flock of migrating Bulbats (Common Nighthawk) flitted around my home for a couple hours one evening last week. An interesting sight, but hard to photograph 

                             A grandson tries paddling. He did catch a couple of fish.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Water and Wildflowers

Another kayak trip results in another wildflower first. I took my new kayak to a small local lake, presumably to fish a little. While paddling around the shoreline, I saw several nice Wildflowers plus this new one.
Water Smartweed (polygonum amphibium).
                                    #340 - Water Smartweed 

Others from the trip:
                           Arrowhead - A Water Plant 

              Cardinal Flower lobelia cardinalis

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Late Summer-Already???

I have a new kayak which I plan to use on ponds, lakes and maybe a really slow river, like the Greenbriar.
Today, I used it on a small pond near my house and fished places inassessable before. 

As I paddled around the shore line I found many late summer flowers plus a new wild flower for me, the Giant Bur-Reed,  Sparganium eurycarpum. 

There are male and female flowers shown here 
         #339- Giant Bur-Reed

Others seen today were:

                          Steeple Bush


                                Iron Weed

                             Virginia Bugleweed


Sunday, June 7, 2015

New Orchid

Early this Spring I saw an unusual dried seed pod which had characteristics of many Orchids that I have seen. So, I have been keeping an eye on it and today, I found it blooming. It is a Loesel's Twayblade, an Orchid that I have never seen or even looked for. I found it, like many others, just by being out and about and being observant. I spotted the seed pod on a logging road near my home while driving along. It has not been reported in Raleigh County before and is in the same vicinity of the Appalachin Twayblades I found last year (click for link), also a Raleigh County first.

Loesel's Twayblade with last years seedpod

Monday, May 11, 2015

First Orchids

Showy Orchis 
Two days ago (just before a nasty stomach virus knocked me down a couple of days) I went to a new favorite spot where I had seen emerging Showy Orchis and Yellow Lady Slippers  a couple weeks ago. This was a new site for these orchids which  I found just by being out and about.
 I saw Pink Lady Slipper leaves near here last fall and hoped for a trifecta of early orchids, but could not find them again
Yellow Lady Slippers

I had a couple of bird experiences this week. I am not a dedicated birder but do enjoy spotting new ones. I know its time for Warblers to show up here so I keep an eye out and spotted a pair of
Yellow Hooded Warblers.

Then today sitting on the porch I saw this Scarlet Tangier fly in and had the chance to grab a camera and lens to get this shot of a beautifully colored bird

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Smoky Mountains

Last Year, I spent a few days in Mid April in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. This year, I found myself back again to celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary. As usual, the days were for the tourist trap, but early mornings were mine for hikes. I went back to Porters Creek and Cove Hardwood trails, both reputed to be the best wildflower hikes in the Smokies. I enjoyed both hike, and love the Smoky Mountains, but as I have expanded my horizons in West Virginia, I can now find almost every wildflower here at home, the exceptions being White Fringed Phacelia and Yellow Trillium. I can remember every year hoping to see Showy Orchis along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and now, I hav found four locations here at home, two in the past two weeks, just by spending more time walking and exploring. A couple highlights were some White Fringed Phacelia that was light blue and a new wildflower.Below are many pictures from the trip.

White Fringed Phacelia (blue variation)

Streptopus lanceolatus (Rose Twisted Stalk)